Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 states that no otherwise qualified individual with a disability shall solely by reason of their disability be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.
Its purposes are to:
- Ensure that children with disabilities have access to a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) available to meet their unique needs and prepare them for further education, employment and independent living,
- Ensure that the rights of children with disabilities and their parents are protected,
- Assist schools in providing for the education of children with disabilities,
- Assist states with implementing statewide comprehensive, coordinated, multi-disciplinary, interagency systems of early intervention services for infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families,
- Ensure that educators and parents have the necessary tools to improve educational results for children with disabilities, and
- Ensure the effectiveness of efforts to educate children with disabilities.